Let’s hear it for the girls

Yesterday my doorbell rang and I had a lovely surprise. My neighbour Stephany recently went to Portugal with her friends, to celebrate turning 40, and she brought me home a gift. Three actually; a tote bag, a bookmark and a hardcover pocket notebook.

We are very friendly neighbours, but it’s not usual for us to give each other presents. Stephany knows how much I love books, and these gifts were from the oldest bookstore in the world, Livraria Bertrand in Chiado, Portugal. It has been open since 1732.

I don’t think I can express how much I love them. I appreciate them all the more because they were such a surprise. I was so touched that she had thought of me, when she was far from home with friends celebrating an exciting milestone in her own life.

I have been blessed to know so many wonderful women in my life. Way back in 2007 while my husband was serving in Afghanistan, and it was my women friends who made it easier, I wrote a short piece for WednesdayWomen (an online magazine I had created). I decided that since today is International Women’s Day, and in thanks to Stephany, I would republish that piece here. I have added some updates in orange text. (more…)

Letting go of one story to begin another

I’m very excited about my new fiction project. It started as one short piece, but it sparked so many other ideas that I think it could actually be a cohesive collection of stories.

The hard part was giving myself permission to pursue the ideas.

I haven’t written a short story in at least five years. I’ve been telling myself that if I was going to write fiction, it would have to be my novel; that 14 year-old albatross that fills me with creative dread. I have written and revised thousands of words of that story. One draft sits in a lovely manuscript box on my desk, other drafts and files with bits and pieces of murdered darlings sits inside my computer.

Over the years it became harder and harder to get back into that novel after a writing lapse. I would forget what I’d written; I would lose the thread structurally and emotionally. I’d get lost and feel overwhelmed. Inevitably I would walk away again. (more…)

I am very excited about life right now

I made a list of all the creative projects I would like to explore in 2018 and the list was 26 items long. Some of those ideas are writing projects that have been around for several years (finish the novel I’ve had an on and off relationship with since 2004) and some are fresh (a short story collection and a novel of linked stories). Some of my ideas are for design projects (I can lose myself for hours in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and more recently, Illustrator) and others on the list are business ideas, ways I can share my passion for writing, design and indie publishing.

It’s going to take me more than this year to accomplish all the projects on that list, but I’m going to get started.

One of the ideas is weekly blogging, so here I am. I’ll figure this out as I go. I’ve had blogs before, but stumbled over the advice to have a niche subject to write about. I am not an expert on any topic except being me, and even that is debatable.